Since oil field work is a major part of the economy, both in Oklahoma and elsewhere in the U.S., oil field injuries are also a growing problem. Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana had the most oil field work fatalities from 2008-2012. Oil field injuries range from minor to severe, and even deadly. They include injuries from explosions, fires, blowouts, crushed limbs and slip and falls. The majority of injuries that are a result of oil field work are fractures, strains, back strains, contusions and lacerations, as depicted in the infographic below.
Oil field work is a significant economic driver: Worldwide, the petroleum industry employed three million people in 2014. The state of Oklahoma is home to five oil refineries and the state produced 210,000 barrels of oil per day in 2011. However, because nearly 17 percent of the state’s jobs are within the oil extraction industry, Oklahoma oil field injuries are a prime concern among residents.
The most common types of oil field injuries are fractures, followed by back and other body strains. Specifically, wrists, fingers and hands were the most oft-injured body parts in the recent study, followed by backs and then the ankle/toe/foot region. This translates to an average of 30 days away from work for an oil field employee. Nationwide, the average number of days off for injuries in other industries is seven days.
McIntyre Law, P.C. has a host of resources about oil field injuries. Check out our three-part series: